Understanding AFSDB Records

Carl Levine
December 14, 2016

In addition to the basic DNS record types that were defined in the original RFC for the protocol, additional feature-specific record types have been added over the years to accommodate interoperability of other peripheral technologies in conjunction with the DNS.

AFSDB records are used for locating AFS and OSF type database resources through the DNS. The record itself, in a BIND-style format, looks more like an MX record; it specifies the subtype and service location for the AFS/OSF resource.

Dissecting the AFSDB Record Type

The AFSDB record contains more information than the typical DNS record as it contains specific information that can be used to locate a specific database type and resource at an address. This is an example of what an AFSDB appears like in a typical BIND-style zone file:

example.com. 86400 IN AFSDB 1 database1.example.com.

|__________||____||__||___||_||___________________| 

     1        2     3   4   5           6         
  1. Address - Location of the AFSDB record, usually the zone apex.

  2. TTL - Expiration value of the record.

  3. Internet-type - Standard BIND notation indicating that the record is on the Internet

  4. Record type - Standard BIND notation indicating that it’s an AFSDB record

  5. Service Subtype - 1 or 2 depending on whether the endpoint is a AFS Volume Location Server or DCE Authentication Server.

  6. AFS Cell Server - the canonical hostname of the database itself.

Leveraging the AFSDB Record Type In NS1’s Portal

  1. Log into the NS1 portal and locate the zone you want to set the AFSDB record up on.

  2. Click Add Record.

  3. Select AFSDB from the drop down box.

  4. Input the information provided into the appropriate boxes

    1. Service Subtype (1 or 2)

    2. AFS Cell Server (Target Endpoint)

  5. Changes will be committed and propagated to our edge servers once you press Save All Changes

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